This tutorial will take you every single step of the way through installing Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) using Parallels for OS X. In other words, even your parents should be able to follow along.
NOTE 2: if you’re looking for help installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) in Parallels, see this tutorial.
This tutorial is for anyone with an Intel based Mac who is curious about Linux – specifically Ubuntu, and has about an hour to kill (not including the time it takes to download Ubuntu).
The steps and screenshots used for this tutorial are specific to Parallels Build 3188 (if you’re using a more recent version of Parallels, please see this tutorial instead) running on a MacBook Pro w/ OS X (10.4.9). With that said, they will be nearly identical if you have a Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook or any other Intel based Apple Mac.
Ubuntu is a free, open source Linux-based operating system with a clear focus on the user and usability (it should “Just Work”). When you finish your Ubuntu installation your system is immediately usable. On the desktop you have a full set of business productivity applications, internet applications, drawing and graphics applications, and games. For more information on Ubuntu, visit http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu.
As you may have noticed, here at Simplehelp we often recommend software, and 90-something percent of the time that software is free. Parallels isn’t free, but it really is worth the cost. It will allow you to run other operating systems (like Ubuntu) on your Mac – without having to worry about any of your OS X settings, documents or files being accidentally deleted. And if you don’t like Ubuntu you can trash it and carry on like it never happened.
One other (major) benefit of using Parallels is that you run the other operating system (in this case Ubuntu) while OS X is running. You don’t need to restart your computer each time you want to switch from OS X to Ubuntu and vice-versa.
Read more about Parallels Desktop here.
This tutorial would not have been made possible (or at least it would have taken me a lot longer) without the help of Kent Bye.
Before you start – make sure to download Ubuntu from http://www.ubuntu.com/download. The file you’ll want to download (as of 4/27/07) is ubuntu-7.04-desktop-i386.iso. Also, make sure Parallels Desktop is installed.
- If this is the first time you’re using Parallels, the Wizard will launch automatically. If it’s not the first time you’ve used Parallels, launch the Wizard by selecting New…
- Select Custom as the type of installation mode, and then Next to continue.
- Choose Solaris as the OS Type: and Other Solaris as the OS Version:. No, that’s not a mistake. At the time of this writing, Parallels build 3188 has some issues when it comes to installing Ubuntu 7.04. Selecting Solaris as the OS will help you get around those issues, and in a later step you’ll be changing this setting anyway. Click Next to continue.
- Here you’ll need to select the amount of RAM that will be dedicated to the guest operating system (Ubuntu). If your Mac has 512MB of RAM, you’ll want to select 256MB or a bit less. Below 128MB will make Ubuntu a bit slow. Because I have 2GB in my MacBook Pro, I’ve opted to dedicate 768MB to Ubuntu – and both OS X and Ubuntu run very quickly. After you’ve selected an amount, click Next to continue. NOTE: some users (scroll way down to see comments) have reported problems when opting for more than 512MB of RAM. You may want to set it to 512 or less now – you can always increase it later.
- Select Create a new hard disk image and click Next to continue.
- Now you’ll need to set the size of the “hard drive” that Ubuntu will use. It might be possible to select less than a gigabyte (1024) and still install Ubuntu, but there would be very little room left for anything else. I would suggest 2 or more gigs (2048) at a minimum.
Review the differences between Expanding and Plain as a disk format. Parallels suggests using Expanding, and since I’ve only noticed a small difference in performance between the two, I would suggest it as well. Either way, don’t stress out over this decision too much – you can convert from one format to the other, using Parallels Image Tool, if you ever need to. Click Next when you’re ready to continue.
- Select Shared Networking and then click Next.
- Give your virtual machine a name – pretty much anything is fine, so go with something descriptive. You may also want to click the More Options link if you want to change the default location for the virtual machine files (generally not necessary). You can also remove the check from the box labeled Create icon on Desktop if you like to keep an un-cluttered desktop. Once again, click Next.
- Click More Options and select ISO image. Then click the Choose… button and navigate to your Ubuntu .iso file (ubuntu-7.04-desktop-i386.iso). Make sure Start Other Solaris installation is checked, and then click Finish.
- Ubuntu will now boot for the first time. When you’re presented with the boot: prompt, enter in the following: live vga=790 and then hit ENTER (on your keyboard).
- Watch the pretty line…
- And here you are. Because the .iso file you downloaded is a “Live” image, you can actually play around with Ubuntu right now. You won’t have sound (we’ll fix this later) and you probably won’t be connected to the Internet (again, we’ll fix it later) so lets just get on with the installation. Double-click the Install icon on your Ubuntu desktop.
- Select your language of choice and then click the Forward button.
- Choose your location from the drop-down list, and then click Forward.
- Select your keyboard layout, and you guessed it, click Forward.
- Leave the default options selected (Guided and SCSI1 and then click Forward.
- Nothing to import, so click Forward
- Enter your Name, the name you wish to use to login, a password and whatever you want to call your “Ubuntu computer” in the spaces provided. Once again, click Forward.
- And now finally, click the Install button.
- Go get a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice. This can take a while.
- When the installation is complete, choose Restart now.
Don’t be at all surprised if Ubuntu doesn’t actually shut down properly. I’ve actually yet to have it restart on it’s own, it always ‘hangs’ at a blank black screen. If this happens to you, use the Stop Virtual Machine button in the upper-right corner of Parallels. The red square one.
Update: a number of folks have noted that they get ‘stuck’ at this stage, particularly during hardware detection. Yesterday, while installing Ubuntu on a friends MacBook Pro, I encountered the same error – it hangs at “piix Intel 82801BA IDE”. The solution, in my case, was to power off the virtual machine (the red square icon in the right column of Parallels Desktop), and power it back on (the green arrow). The 2nd time I tried to install Ubuntu, it went right through with no problems. I made no changes to any of the configurations (above steps), I simply “tried again” – and it worked.
- Back at the Parallels configuration window for your Ubuntu machine, click the Configuration “link”.
- Now it’s time to set things straight. Make sure that Options is selected from the Resource list in the left side of the window. On the right side, change your OS Type: from Solaris to Linux and the OS Version: from Other Solaris to Other Linux kernel 2.6.
- Select CD/DVD-ROM 1 from the Resource list, and then change the Emulation from Use image file to Use CD/DVD-ROM.
Then click the Add… button in the lower left corner.
- Select Sound and then click Next
- Leave the defaults selected, and then click Finish.
- Back at your Ubuntu configuration window, click OK.
- Alright, it’s go time. Start up Ubuntu by click the Start Virtual Machine button (the green arrow in the right column).
- Don’t be at all surprised or alarmed if you see an error message (ACPI: Unable to locate RSDP) flash on your screen. It’s a known issue.
- Again, do not be the least bit surprised if you find yourself staring at a blank, black window. Just wait a few more seconds..
- … and you’ll get to the login window! Enter your user name in the space provided and hit enter (on your keyboard).
- Enter your password and again click enter.
- That’s it – you’re done! Well almost. Select the Internet status icon in the upper-right corner of your Ubuntu desktop, and choose Wired Network. Assuming your Mac is online, Ubuntu will now be connected to the Internet as well. Have fun! If you want to increase Ubuntu’s screen resolution, please see this post.